Man Made Political Climate Change
Considerations of Changing the Modern Political Climate in the Light of Proverbial Wisdom (Proverbs 6:16-19)by RandyP 10/22/2020
The political climate of late here in the USA has certainly proved itself to be something we should all be ashamed of. The skies are dark and threatening, the temperature amongst us has risen considerably, civil and moral inhibitions are quickly melting, and the winds are driving us all to the political extremes rather than to the more sensible middle.
I know that many people out there struggle to see the relevancy of the bible in modern times, most all have a distaste for the mixture of politics and religion. I would like today to spend a short time however considering the relevance of at least the proverbial wisdom of King Solomon and there may not be a more observable segment of modern life to prove its relevancy than in this current political climate.
- Today's Text: kjv@Proverbs:6:16-19
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
- How do these seven things apply to the political climate as it already stands?
- How do these seven things apply to the possible changes that we could make in our political climate to bring it back down to something less hostile and dangerous?
Let's take a short time to consider them!
kjv@Proverbs:6:16 @ These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
You might not believe in a God or LORD as much as I do. That may not fully be necessary to today's conversation because these are seven things that everyone of us should hate about our political environment currently as well. And I ask you not only to consider these items as what other people are doing to you in this current environment, but also what you and I are doing towards each other; what we ourselves are partially or fully guilty of.
- "A proud look" (exalted eye)
- "a lying tongue" (deceiving speech)
- "hands that shed innocent blood" (spilling blameless life substance)
- "An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations" (ploughing vain contrivances)
- "feet that be swift in running to mischief" (headlong into calamity)
- "A false witness that speaketh lies" (testifying under sworn oath/obligation falsely)
- "he that soweth discord among brethren" (planting strife where there should be affinity/resemblance/commonality)
This is the "my view is better" attitude. Be it left or right or moderate, we are all guilty of this. I'll speak to this first from my own conservative background.
Being a white middle-class middle-aged conservative male I am seen by others as racist, chauvinist, bigoted, homophobic, neanderthal, privileged. In the modern climate I am being told that I was born that way and that there is nothing that I can do about it. Nothing that I can say or support or vote for is valid; nor is it humane or socially acceptable. I do not know how anyone expects to win my vote when they look down upon me with such a disgust as they do. You might say the very same thing about some of my viewpoints.
My conservative views are seen as wanting to starve hungry children, strip women of the healthcare choices and rights, keep young adults from attending college, kill off people with pre-existing medical conditions, poison our air and water and young children's minds. If that is your view of me, then you sir are the one with the proud proud self exalted eye. There is absolutely no valid reason for you believing that about me other than you are using that notion to grab for yourself power.
When it comes right down to it, everyone of us likely sees things close to the same ground level. There is very little possible justification for any of us to believe that that through all this murky muck somehow we or our party see anything any clearer than anyone else.
How do we change this?
More and more now knowing this abhorrence of the LORD to this behavior, when I watch the political debates on TV, I watch for which candidate uses this "proud eye" approach the most to sell their agenda (the most - they all use it nowadays). When I hear friends and family employ this, I confront them then and there "what makes you think that I would vote to starve children?" "do you really see me as such an ogor?" "what about this program starves children?".
You see most often, we both see the same problem needing to be addressed. What we differ on is how best to address that problem. That difference does not make either you or I an ogor. It makes us thoughtful people on an equal level that need to come together and politically work something out.
This is the "ends justify the means" mentality (what is best is that I end up with all the power, what does it matter what I say or do or promise as long as I end up with the power I want and need?). Now, not all of us individually are guilty of that, we can both say with certainty that often times our parties and politicians have acted as if so indeed.
Remember now that deceiving words are not only speaking flat out falsehoods (not many of us are actually guilty of that). No, included in this are all the half/three quarter truths, convenient omissions, misrepresentations of the facts as they exist. This includes not only the words we form intended for our own mouths, but also the words heard from other mouths that we simply pass along without correcting or fact checking. In the age of Facebook and Twitter lies can be re-posted by several unsuspecting accomplices and transmitted across the world in the time it takes a truth seeker to tie his/her shoelace. Seems today that we so want the narrative to make sense that we are willing to overlook the clearer facts.
You and I are both guilty of this. You and I should both be wanting to immediately change this. Power and control are never as important as the plain and well investigated truth.
How do we change this in this political climate? More and more now knowing this abhorrence of the LORD to this deceptive speech behavior (else knowing how much we both mutually hate this), I listen a whole lot more intensely to the narrative as it is being presented for the confirm-able facts, not just the inflaming sentiment. That along with the observance of "proud look" helps clue me into who might be more likely to be using this.
Now of course this particular 2020 political season has brought a whole lot more physical violence and yes, even bloodshed. That is not so much of what I want to talk about here today though. Blood is a life substance, have it and you live, don't have it or loose too much of it and you don't live. Blood can just as well mean livelihood, a person's ability to conduct business, as a result persons reputation/a person's ability to reasonably provide to others a product or service. When our political climate effects a person's livelihood it is the same thing as shedding innocent blood.
Innocent in the Hebrew here is meaning clean, clear, blameless, exempt. In politics there are very few if any that are exempt, clean and blameless. Politics, the Psalmists say is a blood sport. But neither can innocence readily be claimed by the voting public (they are the ones who put these vipers in there). The reason there are not more of this innocent politician is because it is their blood typically that is shed. The reason that there aren't more innocent voters is because we are all hiding behind our politics slithering our way to what we most greedily want. Our guilt is transferred onto them so that we can feel better and more innocent about ourselves.
Maybe innocence isn't the word we should be using this far into the current political season. Maybe it is just the long distant ideal of what innocence should have been before we started all this, the longing to return to that (if it was ever).
What do we do change this about our political climate? More and more now knowing this abhorrence of the LORD to this "shedding innocent blood" behavior (else knowing how much we both mutually hate this), I guess we have to agree to a mutual truce long enough to take the plank out of our own eyes to be able to help with the speck in each other's.
The wickedness in this phrase might best be described as a vanity. It is the exertion of one's self, well intended though it may be, that rather ends in nothingness; a puff, a vain panting.
The older I get, the more I see much of modern politics as a vain panting that comes to nothingness. How many political seasons have we voted based upon claims that this was going to get done, and that was going to be lessened, and that finally we had the man or woman that was going to do this for us? For the majority of my time in this environment I have been all in on this puffing. Nearly sixty years later, I am beginning to see much of it for what it really is; a vanity. There is only so much that a government can actually do and accomplish. Government can only regulate, not change people (which is why nowadays I lean more heavily upon religion).
Government is the way it is because the people it is meant to govern are the way that they are. A word that has caught fire recently is "systematic corruption". It is very similar to a word used in religious circles "universal" when it comes to our observable depravity and its related symptoms. Man intends to do well, intends to improve, intends to manage himself better. How is man to do that? Can the blind man lead the blind without them both falling into the ditch?
For all of our pleasant political intentions, what is it other than a vain panting that we have been able to work up and sustain? Even the few things that we are able to establish we steal from and loot in order to get the next vain thing that we want. Surely, not all that we have done is completely wrong, but there too not any of it has begun or remained completely right.
How do we change this about our current political climate? I don't think that we really can do anything about this until 1). we each realize that the LORD indeed does abhor this about us 2). we each come to a better sense of what we can rationally expect any government to be able to do for us 3) we each come to a better sense of what we ourselves have to do for ourselves individually and as congregations.
Head long is the sense of this Hebrew saying. Swift is easy flowing, few restrictions to hold it back. Running is the haste or hurry that we put to it. Mischief is along the lines of calamity. Now whether the calamity is intended or whether it is the result of the intemperance not holding the motion towards it back is for the individual situation to decide.
I do not intend for your calamity. Neither do I believe that you intend for mine. We both intend for what is best for our city or state or country. With our present "proud look" "lying tongues" "shedding blood" "vain puffing schemes" calamity might well be what we both end up at however. It seems so right at the time though, doesn't it? "If this is what my opposition is doing to me then that is what I am going to do to them" or "this is what I have to do to circumvent that".
You and I can survive calamity on a personal scale more easily than a society can. Calamity in that case comes upon morality, comes upon mutual trust and security, comes upon the perceptions of justice and law enforcement. Academics applaud for instance the speed and completeness with which the Marxists were able to take down the bourgeoisie class in revolutionary Russia. What they cannot applaud is that they were never ever able to repair the calamity of trust and morality and perception of justice inflicted upon the Proletariat. No, they endured the calamity of losing these foundations but never fully recovered; to this very day.
Calamity then is not intended, nor is it foreseen, yet there is very little other than these foundations restricting us from arriving precisely there.
Another sense of this that I can think of is when politicians run to the accusation that their opponent will certainly bring upon us calamity if elected. The politician then is in an nobel position of being the one to save us from this great impending calamity. Rarely is any of this rhetoric ever so.
How do we change this? We all agree to be on the watch for it and not let it effect us so.
This behavior goes beyond the more common "lying tongue" attitude addressed before. Certain players in this game have either a moral obligation or sworn obligation to tell the truth because of their role or elected position. This behavior listed uses its more common "lying tongue" to mislead or deceive the agency or court or government body that it is sworn to accurately testify before and honorably represent. The false witness here indicates perpetrating a sham upon the fair and just proceedings explicitly concerned.
In this current climate, I think of the responsibility of the media to its viewing and reading public, the responsibility of the FBI and CIA to get its intelligence correct, for the State department and Justice Department to conduct themselves responsibly. Certain well known and not so well known individuals and groups within these responsible bodies have behaved in a way if not illegal, at the very least unethical and most partisan. I hate this. You hate this. These bodies hate and are embarrassed by this. Yet this behavior seemingly cannot be stopped and often is rewarded politically and or monetarily.
The term "deep state" has come to represent this; the part within our own government and media that "lurks privily" with ulterior motives. At a time when our country is so politically divided and at polar extremes, this type of behavior is most disruptive and inexcusable by either party. The primary obligation of these bad actors was not to their party affiliations and political ideologies, it was to the American people. They failed us, yes, but now w are making future political decisions based upon a furry of converging misinformation.
I will end this consideration on this point: discord. There should be a common affinity among us, left/right, gay/straight, male/female, black/white, rich/poor. None of us should look passed or look down upon any other. None of us should communicate falsities or misrepresentations or omissions knowingly or without thorough inspection. None of us should attack the person or reputation or livelihoods of our opposition. We should all be aware of our propensity towards vain exertions. Temperance and not haste should be our preventive measure against calamity. We all have a sworn obligation to each other and our country to seek out the full truth and testify to it when called upon even if the truth hurts our personal agenda or narratives. We should all do these things 1) because the LORD (else ourselves) abhor anything less than this 2). because it sows discord among those who should rather have a hospitable affinity.
I am not saying peace and compromise just so we can all get along. I'm saying political sobriety because we are all fallen creatures.
I ask again, having now considered these seven abhorrent things, what am I doing? what are you doing? what are we doing that is adding to these current angry political climate? Oh, we well know what it is that this climate is doing to each of us. How then do we go about doing something to bring it back down to something more normal. Friend there will always be these seven behaviors to contend with. How do we contend with them together?